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[Treatment] New user with Oral appliance
#1
Hi I just joined the forum. I was diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea 4 years ago. My sleep doctor recommended I get an oral appliance rather than CPAP. I was sent to a specialist dentist who outfitted my with a somnomed appliance.

After fiddling around with the settings, I got it working pretty well. It has broken about once a year. The first year was on warranty, then I was charged about $40-50 for it to be repaired. It has always come back in good shape. The latest time was two months ago. This time it has been returned not fitting quite as well. The dentist tried making some adjustments with his dentist dremmel tool. But now I have to ram my jaw to one side to make it fit properly, and can't open it enough to be effective. I haven't been sleeping very well for the past few months, and I'm not sure what to do. It cost me $2500 to get it originally, and insurance (public or private) didn't cover it. I can't afford to get a new one, but I have to do something.

I wondering if there are any other people on here with experience with oral appliances. I'd love to exchange our stories and information.
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#2
Welcome, mismith45. I have no experience with an oral appliance, but I'm sure there could be others in our group that can assist you. I'm curious as to how many times you've had to have the appliance fixed during the past 4 years.
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. 
ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.
INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINIONS ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF FACT.
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#3
Oh I thought I said that in my original post. Sorry if I didn't. Smile It's been roughly once a year. Maybe it more like once every 1.5 years. I think it's been repaired 3 times.
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#4
Hi mlsmith45,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I don't have any experience with an oral appliance.
Hang in there for suggestions andbest of luck to you.
trish6hundred
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#5
(02-04-2014, 09:51 AM)mlsmith45 Wrote: Hi I just joined the forum. I was diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea 4 years ago. My sleep doctor recommended I get an oral appliance rather than CPAP. I was sent to a specialist dentist who outfitted my with a somnomed appliance.

After fiddling around with the settings, I got it working pretty well. It has broken about once a year. The first year was on warranty, then I was charged about $40-50 for it to be repaired. It has always come back in good shape. The latest time was two months ago. This time it has been returned not fitting quite as well. The dentist tried making some adjustments with his dentist dremmel tool. But now I have to ram my jaw to one side to make it fit properly, and can't open it enough to be effective. I haven't been sleeping very well for the past few months, and I'm not sure what to do. It cost me $2500 to get it originally, and insurance (public or private) didn't cover it. I can't afford to get a new one, but I have to do something.

I wondering if there are any other people on here with experience with oral appliances. I'd love to exchange our stories and information.
I am pretty happy with my TAP oral appliance. Still fits well after a year and has never broken. I had it custom fitted by a sleep dentist. I monitor how things are doing with a recording pulse oximeter and I help the appliance do better by wearing a "bumper belt" (basically a stuffed backwards bra) to discourage sleeping on my back. Mine was $1900, but Medicare paid most of the bill.

Don in Austin
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#6
I had a dental appliance and it worked for a while but then cause terrible pain in my jaw. Now 20 years later I'm on CPAP and like it.
Maybe since you are having difficulties with your dental device you could get a new sleep study and a CPAP.
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#7
I'm thinking about doing a new sleep study and see what it shows compared to my old ones. I haven't given up completely on the oral appliance yet.

I'm under the impression that CPAP can be a little annoying to use.
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#8
(02-06-2014, 09:57 AM)mlsmith45 Wrote: I'm under the impression that CPAP can be a little annoying to use.

Not really; the body and mind can adjust to about anything. My wife used to complain about the air blowing in her face from the vent even though she sleeps with a fan blowing on her. The solution to the dueling air flows was separate bedrooms (which is acceptable if you've been married for more than 40 years). oldman
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. 
ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.
INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINIONS ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF FACT.
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#9
(02-06-2014, 09:24 PM)PollCat Wrote:
(02-06-2014, 09:57 AM)mlsmith45 Wrote: I'm under the impression that CPAP can be a little annoying to use.

Not really; the body and mind can adjust to about anything. My wife used to complain about the air blowing in her face from the vent even though she sleeps with a fan blowing on her. The solution to the dueling air flows was separate bedrooms (which is acceptable if you've been married for more than 40 years). oldman

Haha. Great attitude towards life and marriage.
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#10
(02-06-2014, 09:57 AM)mlsmith45 Wrote: I'm thinking about doing a new sleep study and see what it shows compared to my old ones. I haven't given up completely on the oral appliance yet.

I'm under the impression that CPAP can be a little annoying to use.

I went for surgery instead of CPAP and regret it. There can be an adjustment period of weeks or months, but it's not annoying to use once you get it dialed in, and it's still the best therapy we have.
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